Most writers dream of being published. It's the surmountable conclusion to the dedication an author puts in to their craft.
Samantha Fidler-Newby started working on her first book in high school.
The name came to her first – "The Thornless Rose, Fire Blush." Fidler-Newby spent the subsequent years filling the pages with a whirlwind of medieval renaissance, good versus evil and a little bit of supernatural.
The genre, she says, has always been a part of her. And the main character in her book, Viviana, encompasses a lot of the things Fidler-Newby identifies within herself.
“She is a firecracker,” Fidler-Newby says. “She is me and a lot of things I wanted to be. But that's where inspiration comes from.”
"The Thornless Rose" is 217 pages and attracts readers from sixth grade to adults. She has a second book in the works and plans for it to be released by Christmas.
Melody Schaefer has turned her grandchildren's love of her parakeet, Penny, into three fun works of art. The St. Joseph woman submitted her first manuscript and signed her first contract in November 2015 for "Penny the Parakeet From Down Under." She says she chose local publisher Julie Casey after reading a story in the St. Joseph News-Press about Casey starting her own company, Amazing Things Press.
“That's all I needed to take the first step,” Schaefer says. “That's the day I got out of neutral and put my plan into first gear.”
Schaefer's five grandchildren were fascinated by the little bird, and audiences of her other books, "Penny the Parakeet and the Squadron of Squirrels" and "Penny the Parakeet and the Solar Eclipse," have been, too.
Amazing Things Press is also Fidler-Newby's publisher.
There are a few ways to cross “published” off the bucket list.
The traditional way would be to submit your manuscript to one of the big guys like Harlequin or Penguin and cross your fingers it gets read and you hear back.
Authors could self publish using online options like www.createspace or www.bookbaby.com.
“If you are comfortable with your knowledge and ability, you can self-publish your own book,” Schaefer says. “I would definitely recommend getting a publisher rather than self-publishing. For me, I trust that my publisher will make sure that words are spelled correctly, that the tense is correct, that I can use someone's name without fear of repercussions.”
There's also vanity press, where authors pay a publishing house to handle their books. Those publishing houses do the work for the author for a fee.
Finally, there are small, traditional publishers like Amazing Things Press.